ebookHistory of Watertown, Wisconsin


Kline's Dept Store

301-303 E Main

207-209 E Main


Kline's Tot & Teen

210 E Main


c.1957, 301-303 E Main, 1950s-70s city assessor image, WHS_006_036b



06 28†††††† A change in the tenancy of one of Main Streetís largest store buildings will take place next Thursday, July 1.On June 30, Gambles, the present tenant, will vacate the building at 301 Main Street, to make way for the new tenant, Kline Bros, of New York City, who will open a department store at the location.Gambles have operated a store in Watertown for at least 26 years, the last 10 of which have been in the present location.The first store was located in the Tri-County Tobacco Company building in West Main Street.The store also was located in Main Street in the building now occupied in Siegelís Economy Store, 113 Main Street, for many years. Kline Bros, operates 22 department stores, mostly in the Middle West.There also are a number of associate stores.The Watertown store will be the first Kline store in Wisconsin.



06 21†††††† Kline's, which has operated a store in downtown Watertown for 29 years, will move into the building now occupied by the S. S. Kresge variety store in early fall, manager Ralph J. Adams announced today.A major renovation project, including a new front and completely redone interior, is planned.Kline's takes possession of the building at 207 East Main Street July 5 and will continue at its current location until the renovation is complete.WDT


10 25††††††††† Kline's Department Store holds ribbon cutting ceremonies at 8 a.m. Thursday to officially open its new facility at 207-209 East Main Street.Invited to the festivities are city and business officials, Downtown Development Committee members and special guest Harold Inlow, who managed Kline's in Watertown until 1968 and took over as company president in 1980.The ribbon, made from $1 bills, will be donated to the United Way.Ribbon cutting kicks off four days of grand opening sales at both the new store and the old facility at 301 Main Street.In addition to discounts on a wide range of merchandise, numerous prizes will be awarded.†† WDT



05 05††††††††† Grade opening of Klineís, former Kresge and J C Penney bldg†† WDT



12 08†††††† Changes are in the offing for three Watertown businesses located downtown:Kenneth Kropf Insurance, Al and Maryís Tap [Al & Mary Malek, 501 N. Fourth] and Klineís Department Store. Increased retail sales have led Klineís Department Store, 207 East Main Street, to expand its store space into the lower level of the building, according to Manager Jeff Becker. The lower level, currently used for storage, has about 3,500 square feet of space, which will be added to the current store area of nearly 15,000 square feet. Once the remodeling project is completed, Becker said, the store will move its domestics and home furnishing departments from the second floor to the lower level. Once the upper level is vacated, Klineís childrenís department will be moved into that space, opening up more display area on the main floor. Becker said menís clothing and ladiesí sportswear lines will be expanded into the additional space.


Kenneth Kropf has started a remodeling project for his building at 13 East Main Street, including a facelift for the front of his State Farm insurance agency.The general contractor for the project is Colonial Built Homes of Watertown. The changes include a new brick front for the building, as the old bricks had become loose, Kropf said.



11 16††††††††† The Calico Cottage on Main Street is decked out for the holidays and has a reason to celebrate.The store's owners, Bob and Edna DeWitt, are purchasing a portion of the former Kline's building to relocate Calico's inventory.Their former location, right next door, has been put up for sale.The expansion from 1,100 square feet to 5,800 square feet allows Calico Cottage ample room to display its array of collectibles and antiques, as well as allowing expansions and additions of its product lines.The old, creaky hardwood floors†† WDT



Cross References:

Evelyn Kritz pursued career in fashion merchandising with Kline's

1957c, 301-303 E Main, 1950s-70s city assessor form, WHS_006_036a

1960s, 301 E Main

1971, 301 E Main

1993, 205 E Main

1975, 210 E Main Klinesí Tot & Teen, WHS_005_276